How should we all be having sex? Truth is none of us know, and all of us are just learning. Sex positivity is a framework that can help you understand and explore your sex life.
But what is it to be sex positive?
One webcomic says “It’s not about being into stuff that other people find wild and not being a prude”. Being sex positive can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people e.g. respect, consent joy, exploration.
So it breaks down what some of the criteria are:
Understanding sexuality is vast; there is no normal or correct way to feel desire.
Keeping consent essential in all interactions.
Fostering tolerance for identities, orientations and consensual sexual practices.
Knowing everyone is entitled to comprehensive sex education that teaches the way sex works in terms of our bodies, safety, choice and pleasure, without moral judgment, shaming or pressure.
The cartoonist sums it up when they say: “It means finding what’s right for you and being cool with other people doing what’s right for them.”
Everyday Feminism writer Suzannah Weiss says “sex-positive feminism is about, after all: helping people have the sex lives that work best for them.”
Sex positive feminism is also about consent, which means only engaging in activities that all parties involved are 100% sure they want to participate in.
In an article by The Frisky they break down some other key values of sex positivity:
Having sex is healthy, but so is not having sex. There are asexual and graysexual people too and their identities are valid.
Stop glamorizing sex. Once you are sex positive you don’tt have to be having ALL the sex and be chatting about all the great sex you are having.
Check your slut-shaming. Slut-shaming also includes shaming people who are more “out of the box” with their sexuality than you and also those whose sex lives you consider more “vanilla” and mainstream. Basically allow folx to have the sex they want.
Know thyself. It’s important to always dig into your own emotions/mind/psyche and assess: What is this doing for me? How do I feel afterward? How is my sex life impacting other areas of my life? Just because you like something sexually doesn’t mean it is good for you.
Listen. Listen. Listen. Listen to how people engage with their sex positivity, it will mean different things for different people.
Consent is necessary in lots of forms. Enthusiastic consent is important, even if it can lead to a lot less wild sex. It will, however lead to a lot more enjoyable, healthy sex. There will be starting and stopping. Also, one idea we love is if someone turns you down sexually, the proper way to respond is, “Thanks for taking care of yourself.”
Just because it doesn’t turn you on doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Intimacy is complex. For some people, sex is easy, but it’s also good to acknowledge that sex can be heavy. It isn’t all casual orgies and running through fields of daisies naked.
Bustle rolled out a list of sex positivity myths (‘cause you know people believe all sorts of wild nonsense about other folx):
Sex Postive Myth #1: All sex positive feminists are down to fuck.
Sex Postive Myth #2: Sex positive feminists all want to reclaim the words “ho” and “slut”.
Sex Postive Myth #3: Sex positive feminists think that the higher your sex number, the better.
Sex Postive Myth #4: Sex positive feminists think all porn is good porn.
Sex Postive Myth #5: Sex positive feminists are all cisgender women.
Sex Postive Myth #6: Sex positive feminists are all white women.
Sex Postive Myth #7: Sex positive feminists are into BDSM.